Iconic Honey Bee Research Centre planned

The University of Guelph will turn its long-standing research prowess in pollinator health and conservation into North America’s first one-stop shop for honey bee research, education and outreach.

U of G is planning a new, $12-million facility aimed at helping understand the stressors affecting honey bees and other pollinators and finding solutions.

A recent transformational gift from the Riviere Charitable Foundation will cover a substantial portion of the cost. A fundraising campaign has been launched to further support the initiative and raise an additional $6 million, https://alumni.uoguelph.ca/honeybee.

U of G’s history and reputation for honey bee research goes back more than 120 years. “We are uniquely positioned to help make a difference, and this donation recognizes and celebrates our research strength and our innovativeness to find sustainable solutions,” said president Franco Vaccarino.

An international design competition for the new centre was launched in January. A design jury selected Moriyama and Teshima Architects for the project, and the design concepts were announced this fall.

The new centre will exemplify sustainability, including being built to LEED Gold standards and with elements such as natural ventilation and low-carbon construction. The University is considering locations on campus for the new facility.

“Our plan is to integrate the new centre within parts of U of G known for nature, food production and sustainability,” said Rene Van Acker, dean of the Ontario Agricultural College.

The new facility will house the existing Honey Bee Research Centre, which is home to North America’s largest research and teaching apiary.